Pitt Disc Golf founder and Pitt Open tournament director Kevin Elrod put his blood, sweat and tears (definitely his sweat) into the new permanent 18-hole disc golf course in Schlanger Park.

Pitt Disc Golf founder and Pitt Open tournament director Kevin Elrod put his blood, sweat and tears (definitely his sweat) into the new permanent 18-hole disc golf course in Schlanger Park.

Just consider it a labor of love for Elrod, who envisioned something far beyond the 9-hole setup in Lincoln Park — a permanent 18-hole course that would attract professional disc golfers from around the region to Pittsburg.

“I picked up a disc four years ago and played over at Lincoln Park and realized that it was pretty short to try and bring in quality tournaments and so for three years, I’ve been working with the city,” Elrod said. “They received a lot of grant money this year to fully fund the course and put it in. We’re pleased with that and they’ll come back later to do concrete tee pads and tee signs so we’ll have a nice course, I believe, for anybody who wants to attend.”

Elrod and Russ Burns, a professional disc golfer and disc golf entrepreneur, have seen the evolution of the Pitt Open during its three years.

“It’s been a little bit of a struggle,” Elrod said. “The first two years we had to put up temp baskets before and then take them down after the rounds. This year, we put in permanent baskets on Wednesday afternoon. The first year, we had 45 competitors. Last year, we had 70 and this year, we were at 109.”

“It gets bigger every year,” Burns said. “On tour so far, we’re really filling up. This tournament filled up on Monday. We capped it at 90, then we had so many players we opened it up to 100, then 105 and finally we said no more after 110. We had 109 since one person wasn’t able to make it. By far, (this is) the largest on tour so far.”

Burns owns and operates Disc Golf Monkey’s 19th Hole Pro Shop in Springfield, Mo. Burns has been a key figure in the success of the Pitt Open.

Elrod made some alterations in the design of the Schlanger Park course.

“They changed the course this year but there’s a lot of holes that are the same,” Burns said. “We added three holes. I love the permanent course. It’s going to be great. It’s a good mix despite it being flat. There’s still a wide variety of holes and what’s cool about it is there’s several holes on it that make you think. There’s about three of them you just don’t see everyday. I love it. There were some things I liked about last year’s, don’t get me wrong. He (Elrod) did a great job of doing the design.”

The Schlanger Park course features only two holes with no out-of-bounds (No. 4 and No. 17) and four holes labeled MANDO (short for mandatory), two left (No. 8 and No. 15) and two right (No. 6 and No. 18). For example, if there’s a tree labeled “MANDO left,” that means the golfers must direct their disc to the left of the tree.

According to the Disc Golf Dictionary, mandos are designed to “improve the safety, challenge and design of a course.”

Elrod shared his favorite hole Saturday afternoon.

“Probably my favorite hole is No. 10,” Elrod said. “It’s got like an island green that’s built up with stones. Me and my son came out here and spent 5 hours putting those stones in. We’ve got a lot of sweat invested into that hole.”

The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) sanctioned the Pitt Open as an official Tier C event.

In the open (professional) division Saturday, group members George Smith, Richard Why, Adam Hunt and Burns walked onto the 18th hole of their second round in a four-way tie. Defending champion Hunt (from Tulsa, Okla.) worked his way back from a six-stroke deficit and entered a sudden death playoff with Burns. Burns emerged from the playoff as champion.

To get a fuller extent of the amount of disc golf being played around the world on the PDGA, events Saturday included not only the Pitt Open but the Scholl’s Bicycle Centers Pittsburgh Flying Disc Open (a weekend tournament in Warrendale, Pa.), the 12th Aso Open (Aso, Kumamoto, Japan), the Queenslands Disc Golf Championships (Brisbane, Australia), the Summer Clang (Langenthal, Switzerland) and the Örseg Open (Öriszentpeter, Hungary).

Currently, Nathan Doss (men) and Valarie Jenkins (women) are the No. 1 ranked players in the world. Doss has earned $9,308 after 12 tournaments this year and $32,769 in 23 tournaments in 2011.

2012 Pitt Open (Schlanger Park)
1. Russ Burns, 55-54—109
2. Adam Hunt, 56-53—109
3. Richard Why, 55-55—110
3. George Smith, 53-57—110
5. Josh Crowl, 56-56—112
6. Kyle Wilkes, 57-56—113
7. Dick Parker, 59-56—115
8. Chris Eads, 59-58—117
9. Ben Wiggins, 57-62—119
10. Kyle McClure, 62-60—122
11. Doug Huff, 64-60—124
12. Zack Jones, 65-60—125
12. Andrew Jinks, 62-63—125
14. Joe Bishop, 62-66—128
15. Mark Anderson, 63-66—129
16. Chris Shelton
1. Eric Rainey, 64-57—121
2. Mark Martin, 64-59—123
3. Buddy Kassner, 67-62—129
4. Bill Paulson, 68-64—132
1. Chris Clemmons, 60-56—116
2. Buddy LaRue, 60-58—118
2. Eric Eastwood, 58-60—118
2. Brad Rush, 55-63—118
5. Jake Squires, 55-64—119
6. Steve Thimmesch, 62-60—122
7. Casey Fluty, 61-62—123
7. Steven Deere, 58-65—123
7. Cory Anderson, 56-67—123
10. John Sheafer, 61-64—125
10. Isaac Davison, 59-66—125
12. Jay Hall, 61-65—126
13. Matt Christensen, 65-62—127
13. Kyle Webster, 63-64—127
15. Chad Fisk, 64-64—128
16. Jake Whitehead, 66-63—129
17. Lee Griffitts, 71-64—135
18. Derek Norris, 67-69—136
19. Brian Thompson, 66-71—137
20. Byron Todd, 68-71—139
21. Kevin Carder, 65-77—142
22. Caleb Spinks, 75-74—149
1. Gary Harvey, 57-58—115
2. Tom Butler, 63-59—122
2. Danny Craig, 62-60—122
4. Jack Lowe, 66-58—124
5. Scott Wittman, 61-64—125
6. Lee Joshua, 69-62—131
7. Scott Ostenfeld, 65-70—135
8. Kevin Elrod, 67-71—138
1. Charlie Chung, 68-66—134
2. Eric Dierkens, 68-70—138
3. Dennis Smith, 71-70—141
1. Michael Seiter, 66-57—123
2. Nate Smith, 64-60—124
3. Chris Smith, 69-61—130
3. J.D. Williams, 67-63—130
5. Craig Morgan, 68-64—132
5. Tobby Rector, 68-64—132
5. Justin Brown, 64-68—132
8. C.J. Buddy, 67-66—133
8. Derick Manly, 64-69—133
10. Danny Reveal, 67-67—134
11. Chris Dettling, 65-70—135
12. Paul Brosemer, 69-68—137
13. Brock Fletcher, 70-69—139
14. Bryce Fisk, 74-68—142
15. Steven Kelso, 73-71—144
16. Erik Everhart, 72-73—145
16. Allen Davis, 71-74—145
18. Mark Komoroski, 77-69—146
19. Mike Carson, 74-73—147
20. Bryan Tiecke, 74-75—149
1. Kim Dierkens, 101
1. Connor Callahan, 69-63—132
2. Kaleb LaRue, 67-67—134
2. Keith Osborn, 67-67—134
4. Austin Osborn, 67-68—135
4. Uriah Johnson, 66-69—135
6. Shane Roberts, 69-67—136
6. Jay Manly, 67-69—136
6. Brett Maasen, 65-71—136
9. Michael Erwin, 63-74—137
10. James Lakey, 72-67—139
10. Thomas Curtis, 67-72—139
12. Alex Lessley, 70-71—141
12. Harold Berciunas, 68-73—141
14. Kevin Feldbaumer, 72-71—143
15. Brad Peters, 73-71—144
16. Larry Webster, 74-71—145
16. Tony Rush, 72-73—145
18. J.D. Hodges, 77-70—147
19. Chris Haynes, 76-73—149
20. Heath Maycumber, 77-76—153
20. Jamie Degarmo, 76-77—153
20. Michael Davison, 74-79—153
23. Eric Mariott, 79-79—158
24. Richard Rose, 76-85—161
25. Stone Roberts, 88-78—166
26. Don Cosby, 69
26. John Hight, 77
26. Andrew Murphy, 82
26. Nick McCroy, 87
1. Cooper Stone, 98-97—195
1. Hunter Tiecke, 85-82—167
2. Parker Dierkens, 97-96—193
1. Taylor Dierkens, 152

Some terms found in the Disc Golf Dictionary (from Driven Disc Golf):
Bullet — A hard, fast putt straight toward the chains.
Cut Through — When a disc hits the basket but slips through the chains and falls (or flies) out the other side.
Floater — A putting style where the putter is thrown with the nose up or lofted in order to “float” into the chains.
Grenade — A backhand shot with a flight path straight up and back down with limited lateral movement.
Pancake — A specialty shot that flips the disc disc upside down and the disc floats toward the ground.
Sandbagging — A player competing in a division below his or her skill level in order to finish higher and win prizes in a tournament.
Taco — Upon hitting an obstacle (like a tree) at a high speed, a disc may bend . . . just like a taco shell.
Worm Burner — A throw released lower than intended, ending up with a shorter throw.